Best Writer's Block Advice I've Ever Seen

My favorite book about being a creative person (that I've read so far, anyway), is Coaching the Artist Within by Eric Maisel. It's almost 25 years old, which makes me feel ancient, but the perspective in here in pretty timeless, and ever since I read this book fresh out of college, I haven't had writer's block since. I'm serious, I haven't. 


Maisel gets to the heart of most writer's block, which is the underlying feeling that what you are doing doesn't matter. If you don't have the greatest concept for a book, a song, a painting, whatever, then it's because you aren't really any good, and you aren't supposed to do this. After all, real artists know what they are doing immediately, and it just flows out of them, right? Maisel puts this myth to rest and says that living as a creative person is about deciding to matter. Outside validation, especially the preemptive-imaginary, doesn't play a role here.


Another big part of ridding writer's block is trusting that yes, you do know what you're doing. If you're a creative person and you have ideas, the solution to whatever block you're experiencing is already inside of you. During a centering exercise that feels more like a meditation, Maisel suggests the affirmation is "I trust my resources."  I love that--resources. Your experiences are resources. Your influences are resources. Your feelings are resources. Your skills are resources. Trust that those things matter and that you can do something with them. 


Does this mean that I always know what direction a story should go in? No, actually, but that's not the same as feeling blocked. In fact, I'm working on a novel right now that is confusing the hell out of me. The main character is a TV star from the 90s, and she's having episodes where she doesn't quite know if she's the actor or the character. To say the least, I may have bitten off more than I can chew (typical). But instead of saying, "This makes no sense. I need to just give up," or "This will never sell. Could I make money off of this?" I decide that because it's inside of me, it matters, and I trust my resources to figure it out--eventually! Sitting down and writing this character is never a problem, directionless as the storyline currently is!


Maybe it's too dramatic to credit Coaching the Artist Within with killing my writer's block, but I'm sorry, I do! Get it at your local bookstore (hopefully?) or find it below!

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